Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 17 – “You Will, I’m Sure of It”

This episode focuses on Tohru and her classmates’ class trip to Kyoto. This school trip had been referenced in earlier episodes, and I’d basically forgotten it was happening until this episode started and referenced the trip. As soon as I heard that reference, it was like, “Oh yeah, this was coming up.”

For the most part, this episode was focused on developing relationships between several of the characters. The most emphasis was placed on Kyo and Tohru, though. A girl in their class decides to make a confession to Kyo, but he turns her down in his usual, abrasive way. But seeing this, Tohru found her heart skipping a beat. She also found herself wondering if, someday, he would act that way and leave her behind. There was a wonderful scene between Tohru and Kyo later in the episode. A female cat comes up to a sad-lookin Kyo and seems to be trying to comfort him. When Tohru comes up on them and starts talking to Kyo, the female cat gets jealous… and we get to see subtitles for this female cat’s thoughts. LOL! Two girls rejected by Kyo in one episode… with one of the girls being a cat. But, after this humorous bit, it turns more serious, and we see Kyo acting in the kinder version of himself that he reserves for Tohru. But this episode seems to be establishing that Tohru may have feelings for Kyo that would reciprocate his feelings for her.

There’s also some interaction between Tohru and Yuki, as well as more character development between Yuki and Manabe. There’s a great moment between these two when, after Manabe asks Yuki a hypothetical question, Yuki blurts out that his reaction would be that Manabe would no longer be his friend. After that comes out of his mouth, Yuki looks so embarrassed, and it’s just comical. Kimi inserts herself into the moment between Yuki and Manabe, and proves once again just how annoying of a character she is. It’s weird, though. I don’t remember being as annoyed with her when I read the manga as I am now with her as I see her in the anime.

I can’t forget to mention that early on in the episode, Tohru has a flashback about getting ready for the school trip, and with how crazy things have been, both Tohru and Kyo had basically forgotten it was coming up. Shigure was quite amusing in this scene, because he actually got mad. Up to this point, we’ve never seen Shigure become angry at anyone because he’s so laid-back. So to see him actually get angry was comical to me, because it almost felt like it was out of character for him.

During the episode, a lot of focus was placed on souvenirs. What Yuki brought back for Machi was unexpected, but she seemed to appreciate it. But Tohru’s souvenir that she bought for herself was the most important. Seeing what she did with the clay to enhance her souvenir was so sweet. Awww…

Even with the various character relationships being built up in this episode, it was overall more light-hearted in tone when compared to some of the more recent episodes of the series. To me, this is likely a sign that we’re going to be coming up on a heavier storyline before long, and that this episode will likely be part of a “calm before the storm” moment. I really can’t wait for next week, so I can see where Fruits Basket will be heading next with its story.

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 16 – “Ask Him For Me”

This episode was an emotional one, featuring the idea of wishes that likely can never come true.

Tohru finds out from Uotani that she quit all of her part-time jobs and got new ones, because she was tired of expecting to see Kureno return as a customer and always being disappointed when it wasn’t him walking through the door. Uotani hadn’t said his name before, so when she reveals it to Tohru and Hanajima, she suspects Uotani’s Kurno may be Kureno Soma. Tohru decides to take it upon herself to find Kureno at the Soma estate to ask him about this.

But, it turns out willing herself to enter the Soma estate is easier said than done. But Tohru runs into someone unexpected… Momo, Momiji’s little sister. After learning that Tohru is one of Momiji’s friends, Momo leads Tohru to a secret entrance into the estate that she knows about because she sneaks in to watch Momiji play the violin. This is where the emotional stuff really starts kicking in during the episode. Momo has picked up on the resemblance between Momiji and her mother, and Momo has taken an interest in Momiji. Momo tells Tohru that she wants to play with and spend time with Momiji, and to ask him to be her big brother. Momo entrusts Tohru to ask that question to Momiji for her (hence the title of the episode, “Ask Him For Me”). When Tohru meets with Momiji and tells him about her encounter with Momo, it becomes a very emotional scene. This was one of at least three scenes where I almost cried while watching the episode.

Tohru explains to Momiji why she’s at the estate, and Momiji draws her a map to help guide her to Kureno’s house. Tohru tries her best to stealthily get there, but keeps getting anxious whenever she sees people. When she gets to Kureno’s house and calls out to him, she sees people and runs off, getting lost in the process. Tohru is almost caught, but Kureno comes at the right moment and saves her from her predicament. At first, Kureno threatens to call the police, but Tohru asks him to listen. When she asks if he knows Uotani, his reaction lets her know that yes, this is the same Kureno. Emotional scene number two hits here, when Tohru is giving Uotani’s contact information to Kureno. It’s not the act itself, but the emotional speech she gives, that elicits a emotional reaction from the viewer.

At the end of the episode, Tohru goes up on the roof of Shigure’s house, lost in contemplation. Kyo joins her, and here is emotional scene number three. Tohru sums up the theme of the episode (wishes that can likely never come true), and the suddenly bursts into tears without knowing why. It was sweet seeing Kyo trying to comfort her as he knows how to.

One thing I noticed during this episode, as Tohru going through with trying to help others with their wishes that will likely never come true, is that she’s thinking about her mother. I think it’s safe to say that it’s this desire to see her mom again (and never can again), is what caused her tears at the end of the episode. I think in a lot of ways, Tohru is driven to help others with these wishes because what she wishes for can truly never come true. She doesn’t want to see others endure the same heartache that she’s feeling.

On a personal level, I can relate with Tohru. I lost my own mother last fall, and there are still times I wish I could have another chance to see her again.

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 15 – “See You Later”

This entire episode focused on the parent-teacher conferences that were being hinted at in the previous episode.

There are some funny moments with Uotani and Hanajima’s conferences. There’s some humor when Kyo and Kazuma appear for Kyo’s conference, because it seems Hanajima thinks he’s handsome and may be interested in him.

Tohru’s conference was great, though. Shigure accompanies Tohru to her conference, much to Mayu’s dismay. The reactions and interactions between Shigure and Mayu are beautiful, especially since Tohru has no clue about their past history. There’s a serious side to Tohru’s conference as well, especially when Mayu asks Tohru about continuing her schooling. Mayu obviously sees that Tohru has potential to be more than what Tohru thinks she is. Tohru keeps insisting, though, that she’ll go to work right out of high school. But I think it’s awesome to see this side of Mayu, and this episode truly shows just how much more there is to her character than the tough teacher we saw at the beginning of the series.

The other major conference we see is with Yuki and his mother. I thought it was an interesting choice to have their conference on a dark and rainy day, and how dark this made the room they were meeting in. This was quite the contrast with the other conferences, since all the others were in a brightly lit room. While Yuki’s mother’s personality has been hinted at in the past, finally getting to see how much of a cold-hearted bitch she really is was something else. I loved it when Ayame made a sudden appearance at the conference and basically handed his mother’s ass to her on a platter. He knows how to get under her skin. We also hear some surprising words out of Yuki: he tells his mother that he can depend on Ayame. Unfortunately, this “brotherly love” we see at the conference is ruined by an after credits scene that features Ayame. Oh well. But, it was nice to see Yuki talk to his mother and making his wishes known with firm conviction. Bitchy mom doesn’t really say anything in response, though, and she just turns her back and leaves.

But in the middle of these conference scenes, we do see a worried Tohru thinking about Kyo and the potential for him to be locked away by Akito after he graduates. And we also get a couple of scenes of Kyo realizing that he wants to spend as much time with Tohru as he can before graduation. From his conference, it’s clear he has no idea what to do with his future, but we see in thoughts that the only thing he knows is that he wants to be by Tohru’s side.

This episode also clearly establishes that winter will soon be on its way, and that there really isn’t that much more time before Tohru, Yuki, Kyo, Uotani, and Hanajima are supposed to graduate from high school. What I’m curious to see at this point is whether the anime can get through the remainder of the manga in this cour of the anime, or if there will need to be one more season to get the complete story told.

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 14 – “I Should Just Die…”

Wow… there’s a lot to unpack in this one. The main focus is on Yuki and his evolution as a character, but we also get to see some development for Haru, Rin, Kyo, and Tohru.

It all starts with Tohru learning that her grandfather is bedridden after straining his back. The concern is with the upcoming parent-teacher conference, because her grandfather was supposed to go. But Shigure makes an agreement with Tohru’s aunt to allow Tohru to visit her grandfather the next day… and that Shigure will be going to Tohru’s parent-teacher conference. Of course, we learn that Shigure was an ulterior motive for wanting to go to Tohru’s parent-teacher conference… he wants to see Mayu’s look of loathing, since she’s Tohru’s homeroom teacher. I admit that I laughed out loud when I heard that thought come from Shigure.

Kyo, meanwhile, has been down and ignoring everyone else at Shigure’s house, including Tohru. We know that Kyo is trying to sort out his feelings for Tohru, and that he’s confused about how to act around her. This tension between Kyo and Tohru is resolved at the end of this episode, after Tohru’s visit with her grandfather.

But like I said at the beginning, the focus is on Yuki and his development as a character. As he remembers his past and interacts with characters like Kagura, Haru, and Rin, he realizes that he hasn’t made as much progress as he thought he had, and that he’s still not standing up on his own two feet. This also becomes clear when he has to muster up the courage to go to his parents’ house to talk to his mother about his parent-teacher conference. She’s not there, though, so he doesn’t have to face her. And in his interaction with Rin, Yuki learns the truth about why Shigure took him in.

And there’s also quite a tense scene between Haru and Rin. This allowed the audience to see a little more of their relationship and how these two characters interact with one another.

But all in all, though, this episode with filled with a lot of character drama. But it was riveting, and it surprised me when the episode ended, because it didn’t feel as if it’d been going long enough. But with something the Tohru’s grandfather said in this episode and the interaction between Torhu and Kyo at the end, I think we’re heading toward something that I know is coming from having read the manga years ago. I hope the next episode is what I think it’s going to be. I won’t say what exactly it is, but what I will say is that what I’m thinking of is very important backstory.

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 13 – “Sure Thing”

Summer vacation is finally over for Tohru and the others, so we now get an episode set at school. I hadn’t remembered from reading the manga before that the Prince Yuki fan club makes an appearance during this section, but they had to in order to get a proper introduction to Kimi Todo, one of the student council secretaries. Kimi comes across as a major flirt, but she can be really tough when she wants to be. Even though it comes across as annoying, Kimi’s seductive behavior saves Yuki from the Prince Yuki fan club, especially when they’re starting to ask questions about his summer vacation.

We’re also introduced to Naohito Sakuragi, the other student council secretary. He’s short and comes across as a rather uptight guy. But now all of the student council members have been introduced, and poor Yuki is trying to figure these people out and how he’s going to be able to lead this motley crew.

This entire episode focuses on Yuki and his interactions with the student council, especially when it comes to Kakeru Manabe, the vice president. Yuki gets annoyed with him (and I do, too, actually), and he realizes during the episode that he sees Kakeru as a combination of Ayame and Kyo… two people that he doesn’t particularly like. But near the end of the episode, we get to see a confrontation between Yuki and Kakeu, which causes Yuki to realize that his insecurities are coming to the surface even though he’s trying to repress them. He gives a lecture to Kakeru during an argument that he realizes is really a lecture for himself.

But a surprising thing happens. Kakeru admits that he’s jealous of Yuki… and Yuki doesn’t expect this. We hear in Yuki’s thoughts that he’s happy to hear this and is trying hard to hold back tears. While these two characters will likely never be best buddies, there’s at least a bit of understanding between them.

It was a little disappointing that we only got to see Tohru in the very first scene, then in a very brief clip right near the end of the episode, but she really wasn’t important to the story being told in this episode. This was definitely Yuki’s story and his trying to adapt to his new role as student council president. But now that the student council has been introduced and relationships and interactions are a little more solidified, it’ll be interesting to watch as this group works together in the future.

The end of this episode has a title card preview for another episode, but so far, I haven’t seen anything to indicate that this season of Fruits Basket is continuing this summer. Crunchyroll doesn’t have it listed as a continuing simulcast for the Summer 2020 season, so I have no idea if we’ll get another episode next week or not. Has anyone heard anything concrete about the status of Fruits Basket for the Summer 2020 season?

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 12 – “You Cried for Me”

This week, we get a backstory episode for a character that you wouldn’t have necessarily expected to get one for… Mayuko, the teacher for Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki. In earlier episodes, we had seen hints and references about her dropped in the series (being Kana’s best friend and having once dated Shigure), but it never seemed like the series was ever going to do a backstory episode on her. But I’m glad this was here, because it shows there’s more to her than the strict teacher that we’ve seen up to this point.

Mayuko’s parents own a bookstore, and she has been asked to mind it while her father is in the hospital. She gets a surprise visit from Shigure, who has come to check on the status of a book he ordered. He brings up the past to her, and this leads us into the flashbacks that we see. It turns out that Mayuko had feelings for Hattori, but never acted on them because Kana was her best friend. Through these flashbacks, we also get to see Kana’s side of what happened after Hattori’s eye was injured during Akito’s hissy fit when Hattori announced his intentions to marry Kana. We knew from Hattori’s backstory that Kana became a wreck and had her memories altered by Hattori. In this flashback, though, we get to truly see how much of a wreck she became after that incident. It was also heartbreaking to see Kana and Mayuko talking after Kana’s memories were altered, especially when she was telling Mayuko that she and Hattori would be good together. And it was heartbreaking for Mayuko, too, because she actually starts crying. I appreciated seeing that there was more to Mayuko than the rough and strict exterior she normally exudes.

Another thing the audience learns is that it’s been two years since Kana’s memories were altered. As I recall, the amount of time between that incident and the present had not been revealed during Hattori’s backstory. To me, at least, it always felt like the amount of time was longer, so it was a little surprising to realize that it had only been two years.

In the present, after Shigure leaves, Hattori makes an appearance. We learn that the book Shigure ordered is actually for Hattori. It’s then that we realize that the sneaky Shigure was trying to find a way for the two of them to see each other, since Mayuko hasn’t seen or talked with Hattori in the past two years. The interactions between these two were quite amusing, but the moment that really shone during the episode was when, after getting frustrated with Hattori, Mayuko starts bawling loudly. The earlier scene with Kana showed that Mayuko was capable of shedding tears, but is wasn’t the loud bawling we see at this point in the episode. But I think this is realistic, because it seems pretty clear to me that Mayuko has been bottling up these feelings for the past two years, and she was finally able to express them and to let them out. By the end of this episode, it seems like a foundation is being laid for Hattori and Mayuko to have a relationship in the future.

It was kind of nice to have an episode where the focus wasn’t on Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo. Don’t get me wrong, I love those characters. But sometimes it’s nice to get an episode where other Somas or other characters get some more screen time. I should mention that not only was the focus not on the main three, they never once appeared in this episode. That’s a very rare thing for Fruits Basket.

Third Chapter Delayed for the Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc 2 Manga

This year’s combined 14th and 15th issue of Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume magazine has announced that the third and final chapter of the second part of Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc manga has been delayed indefinitely. The magazine’s official website and Twitter account will announce the new release date when it is decided.

Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc started its “2nd season” serialization in Hana to Yume magazine on April 20, 2020. The second chapter debuted in Hana to Yume on June 19, 2020.

Yen Press began publishing the manga in English on April 28, 2020.

Source: ANN

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 11 – “All Mine”

The episode opens with the most humorous scene in the entire episode. Shigure, Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru return to Shigure’s house and find that Ayame is there and has made himself at home. Apparently, Shigure forgot to lock the door when he left. But there’s an amusing scene between Ayame, Kyo, and Yuki that takes place here. But like I said right at the beginning, this is the most humorous scene in the episode, because it turns serious rather quickly and remains serious for the rest of its runtime.

Tohru goes to visit Shisho, and she tells him what Akito told her in the previous episode and asking Shisho if he knows anything about the curse. She wants to break it, and she wants to gain any information she can. While Shisho doesn’t know the answer for sure, he has a guess… and his guess makes Tohru have to evaluate what she’s thought about bonds up to this point in her life. But even so, it doesn’t appear that this realization is going to make Tohru hesitate in her quest. As she leaves the dojo, she encounters Rin. Rin is rather cold to Tohru, and it turns out Rin has shown up to talk to Shisho as well. From what Shisho says, it appears that Rin came to ask him the same thing that Tohru did.

Meanwhile, Kagura seems to have come to an understanding when it comes to her feelings for Kyo. She sees him at the dojo and gives him a hard time. Kyo says he has something he needs to tell her, but she says she won’t listen unless they go on a date. Kyo relents, and the rest of the episode focuses on Kyo and Kagura’s “date.”

Instead of a typical date, Kagura takes Kyo to a location that was important during their youth. We get to see flashbacks of when they first met and the first time Kagura saw Kyo’s “true form.” In this episode, Kagura has an epiphany as to why she’s treated Kyo the way she has all these years, as well as why she’s been in “love” with him all this time. But Kagura’s confession makes it easier for Kyo to say what he wanted to say: that he’s not in love with Kagura and never will be.

With the way the story is progressing now, Kagura needed to have that epiphany and to hear Kyo seriously tell her that he doesn’t have romantic feelings for her. The humorous aspect of Kagura chasing after Kyo no longer works with the way the direction the story is going, in much the same way that the president of the Prince Yuki fan club was essentially “written out” after her realization that Yuki wasn’t interested in her. With Kagura’s chasing of Kyo being written out, you know that the story will continue to be getting more serious from here on out.

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 10 – “Who Are You”

This episode starts off with Tohru recognizing that both Yuki and Kyo have changed during the course of their time at the Soma beach house, and she starts wondering whether or not she’s changed at all.

Meanwhile, Akito is throwing a temper tantrum over at the annex, and Shigure seems to be getting the brunt of it. When Kureno brings news that they have to return to the main estate due to issues taking place there, Akito decides to use the opportunity to slip away and go to the beach house.

Momiji is the one who sees Akito standing outside and interacts with Akito. When Akito demands to see Tohru, Momiji starts asking questions. This pisses off Akito, and poor Momiji gets punched in the face. Tohru, meanwhile, can’t sleep and decides to go for a walk. She witnesses Akito’s punch and tries to shield Momiji from further harm. This only pisses off Akito more. What happens after this is a very important scene not just for this episode, but for the series as a whole going forward. Akito tells Tohru about the futures for Kyo and the other Somas with the curse, and this makes Tohru realize there’s something different about Akito. Akito confirms her suspicions, while at the same time, scratching Tohru’s face. Oh, and during this scene, Tohru officially meets Kureno.

Remember how early in the episode, Tohru was questioning if she had changed during this trip? This visit from Akito ends up having the opposite effect than what Akito had intended. Instead of being scared away from the Somas, it has made her resolve to do whatever she can to break the curse. She realizes how much all of the cursed Somas are trying to move forward with their lives, and she knows that if they have to keep following Akito’s demands, that they will never be able to go forward and will never truly be happy.

So, yes, Tohru, you did change during this trip to the Soma beach house. This was really the first time she made a firm decision and commitment to something of this magnitude. This is the character development that she’s needed.

As I was watching this episode, it made me realize that there’s no way that these later story elements could have been done any justice if they had been done by the director of the original Fruits Basket anime. Since he had made the decision to focus a little more on the humor in his version of the anime, that just would not have worked for this section of the story. He either would have had to had something awkward that would have weakened this content, or there would have been such a drastic change in the feel and tone of the anime. And I’m also glad the decision was made to go with a total reboot, instead of just trying to continue where the original had left off. Overall, I’ve been very happy with this reboot of Fruits Basket, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this series will continue.

Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: Fruits Basket Season One Part Two

Fruits Basket Season One Part Two includes two Blu-rays and two DVDs that include episodes 14-25 of the first season of the Fruits Basket reboot anime series. The set includes both an English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Fruits Basket Season One Part Two
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: February 11, 2020

Fruits Basket Season One Part Two continues the Fruits Basket reboot anime.

The set opens with the one-year anniversary of the death of Tohru’s mother, and Tohru takes Hana, Uotani, Yuki, and Kyo to her mother’s grave. At the end of this episode, the audience is given hints that Yuki and Kyo may both be hiding some kind of a secret from Tohru.

We also get to see backstories for both Uotani and Hana in this set, and this is where we start seeing some portions of the manga that weren’t animated in the original anime. These backstories appeared much later in the manga, but they work well being moved up and help to give more dimension to both of these characters. They both have interesting backstories, though Hana’s is heartbreaking.

This set also introduces three other zodiac members of the Soma family: Kisa, Ritsu, and Hiro. Kisa is still the sweet girl she was in the original, Hiro is still the obnoxious brat, and Ritsu is still annoying. At least Ritsu doesn’t appear very often in the episodes included in this set. We also get a humorous episode about Motoko and two of her underlings from the Prince Yuki fan club right before Hana’s backstory and the storyline about Kyo’s true cat form. Episode 25 shows the aftermath after Tohru confronts Kyo’s true cat form, and this features some more of the original manga that had never been animated before. I also appreciated how Episode 25 sets the foundation for what we’re now starting to see in Fruits Basket Season Two.

The Blu-ray video is 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native). The audio on the Blu-ray had Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolbu TrueHD: Japanese 2.0, while the DVD had English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo. I had no complaints about either the audio or the video quality of this release.

The first disc of the set includes a commentary on Episode 18. The second disc has more in the way of bonus features. Interview with the Cast & Crew sees ADR Director Caitlin Glass interviewing the three new voice actors on the series: Mikaela Krantz (Momiji), Elizabeth Maxwell (Uotani), and Jad Saxton (Hana). There are also several “Fruits Basket Inside The Episode” features included, and this time, most of them had little or nothing to do with the actual episode it was made for. These basically consist of some of the English dub actors talking about working on the show. These were OK bonus features, but they’re not anything I’d rush to watch again. There is also a textless version of the opening song and a textless version of the closing song.

If you’re a fan of the Fruits Basket franchise, and you already have a copy of Fruits Basket Season One Part One, then this release is worth picking up and adding to your home anime video library.